2 SCDF NSFs emptied colleague’s bank account via online transfer after one of them took his phone
SINGAPORE – Two full-time national servicemen (NSFs) with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) emptied their colleague’s bank account by making an online transfer of $690 after one of them stole the victim’s mobile phone.
On Tuesday, Nizar Syafiq Ismadi, 21, who completed his national service in February 2023, pleaded guilty to multiple charges including weapon possession and an offence under the Computer Misuse Act.
His accomplice, Mohamed Iskandar Mohamed Ansari, then 23, who was a corporal at the time of his offences, was sentenced to three months and five weeks’ jail in February.
He had pleaded guilty to one count each of theft and an offence under the Computer Misuse Act.
At the time of the offences, Nizar, Iskandar and their colleague Leon Tay, 23, were serving at the 3rd SCDF Division in Yishun as security administration staff. Nizar and Mr Tay, who has also completed his national service, were then lance corporals.
Some time before August 2022, Nizar and Iskandar planned to “do something big” to Mr Tay.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tung Shou Pin said: “Nizar understood this as making Leon’s life miserable by taking his phone.”
Court documents did not disclose the reasons behind the plan.
At around 7.30am on Aug 1, 2022, Iskandar and Mr Tay began their 24-hour duty shift at the regimental sergeant major’s office of the division. Mr Tay was about to leave the office at around 9am to man the guardroom, where he was not supposed to use his mobile phone, when Iskandar told him to leave the device behind. Mr Tay complied. After he left, Iskandar took the phone, which was worth $1,149. Later that day, Iskandar and Nizar sold Mr Tay’s mobile phone to a second-hand store for $600 and Nizar retained its SIM card, said DPP Tung. On Aug 5, 2022, Iskandar offered to “help” Mr Tay by using the Find My Phone app installed on his own phone to trace the stolen device. In earlier proceedings, DPP Tung told the court: “(Iskandar) had the victim log into his Gmail account on the accused’s phone. However, the accused selected ‘show password’, revealing the victim’s login details. The accused sent the victim away.” Meanwhile, Nizar downloaded a POSB banking app onto his own phone and inserted Mr Tay’s SIM card into the device.
The prosecutor said Iskandar and Nizar then successfully logged in to Mr Tay’s bank account before transferring $690 to Iskandar’s account via PayNow. Mr Tay found out about the transaction when he checked his e-mail and saw Iskandar’s mobile phone number in a message. He alerted the police and officers arrested Iskandar at the division on Aug 15, 2022.
Iskandar also implicated Nizar who was caught later.
Soon after, the police searched Nizar’s motorcycle and found a kerambit knife – a weapon with a blade resembling a claw – in the seat of the vehicle.
Acting on Nizar’s instructions, a provost officer assigned to guard him contacted Nizar’s friend and asked him to hide the weapon.
The officer and the friend later came clean about what they did when the police questioned them and the weapon was returned.
Nizar is expected to be sentenced on Oct 31.